The New Republic Unveils Redesigned Magazine, Website, App

Monday, 28 Jan 2013 01:29 PM

By Michael Mullins

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The New Republic launched a redesigned and revamped magazine, website, and app on Monday to kick off 2013. The 98-year-old liberal-leaning publication was purchased last March by 29-year-old Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes whose net worth is nearly $1 billion.

In an interview with the New York Times, Hughes said the changes include a broader approach to political reporting as well as new editorial features.

Hughes is joined in the venture by the magazine's editor, Franklin Foer, 38, who described the publication's new look as thrilling.

"It felt like for the past 10 years, the magazine was just trying to stay afloat. There were real limits on our ambitions," Foer told the Times from his K Street office in Washington, D.C. Foer added that Hughes has energized the magazine, saying, "He really thinks of it as a start-up, and that’s exhilarating."

The New Republic will expand its current art critic review from literature and the visual arts to more current art forms such as electronica and television series that are popular among younger audiences, such as the HBO series "Girls."

According to the Times, Hughes and Foer have been attempting to balance The New Republic’s past with the modern media age.

"We’re holding onto the heritage of the magazine while trying to make it more responsive to what people are interested in and how they read in 2013," said Hughes, a former online campaign adviser to President Barack Obama.

The magazine also will include a new feature called, "From the Stacks," showcasing the writing of prominent journalists and noteworthy individuals who have contributed to The New Republic over its nearly 100-year history.

Another significant change to The New Republic in its attempt to increase readership by appealing to a greater cross-section of readers are interviews with powerful individuals. The January issue features an exclusive interview with President Barack Obama entitled "The President is not Pleased: Obama on his Enemies, the Media, Concussions."

In addition to the changes made to the print edition, The New Republic's website and app have new features such as audio versions of articles and the ability to allow users to read the same articles on multiple devices without losing their pages in the pieces.

Editorial revisions aren't the only changes Hughes has made since taking the publication's helm last year. In November, Hughes hired a new advertising head and relocated much of The New Republic's business from Washington to New York City.

According to Hughes, since his purchase The New Republic's subscriptions have grown from 34,000 to 44,177, with newsstand sales increasing by 68 percent.

The New Republic's readership peak was in 1993 when it had a circulation of 102,392, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.

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